Most of you know this already but for any who may have missed the news, my Dad’s mom passed away on Oct. 6th. I want to thank all of you who sent us your love and support and let all of you know how much we appreciated your kindness. It’s been a rollercoaster. Now that everyone in the family has gone back to their routines, I’ve been doing a little reflecting. I’m not entirely sure where I am going to go with this, or with what purpose I’m writing but I guess there’s just a few things on my mind I feel I need to share with those that I know and love.
I’ve discovered a funny thing about houses since DeeDee passed. Vanessa and I are currently living in DeeDee’s house for the time that we’re still stateside and the more time I spend in this house, with just the two of us, the more empty it feels. When the family was here for the funeral, it was hard, DeeDee’s chair was empty and there was a fog of sadness that lingered over all of us, but it felt right. The house was full. We were all there, in her house. Now that it’s just us, the house doesn’t feel right. It feels as though the house has gone into a deep sleep in her absence. I guess even houses mourn when their inhabitants move on. Come Thanksgiving, we will make it smile again. But for now, Van and I go about our daily routines and we feel so grateful to have a place to rest and feel at home while we are here. And we are adjusting well I think. I still miss her dearly and more than once, I’ve wished she were there when I look at her chair. I think Jake misses her too sometimes but even he seems to be settling in to new routines. He spends more time with us than I ever would have expected him to. So as we adjust, we reflect as well and while I have had such a hard time figuring out what I would say, I think it’s time for me to stop thinking about it and just write it. So here goes.
Whenever someone dies, I always find it intriguing how we try to avoid the word death. I guess more precisely we are trying to avoid being insincere or disrespectful but I just find it odd that the words die, death, and dead seem so different from the words we do use when referencing the deceased. Far more often we say “she passed away” or “He’s moved on.” It makes sense. The “D” words are more finite. They signify the end where as saying something like “passed away” implies that they’re still around, just in a different place. That just feels so much more comforting doesn’t it? They’re not really gone, just away. Well now that DeeDee has “passed away” I have realized that this is exactly how I imagine DeeDee to be. No longer with us, but not really gone. I truly believe that she must be in a better place because, having raised the 5 boys that she had to, God knows she’s earned it.
In the passed month since her death, it has become very apparent to me that Darlene Rogers was truly a servant. She contributed to more organizations and charities than I knew existed and I know this for a fact because each and every one of them has called at least once to say thank you…and ask for future donations of course. I have learned so much in DeeDee’s passing about who she was and what she did. Her love for her family and friends ran so deep. I know I speak for all of my family members when I say we will all miss her dearly. And while we will all have moments of sadness and will grieve for having lost such a dear part of our lives, I have realized something for myself, which makes some sense to me and gives me comfort. Death separates us from those that we have loved in life and at times the loss can seem so painful. But Death also bears with the pain a gift that until now I couldn’t see. The gift of regret. When we look back on the many things we wish we had done or said, it becomes starkly clear to us, at times painfully clear to us what we SHOULD have done when we had the chance. The things that we were too blind to see before are shoved in front of our faces. While it felt wonderful to have learned so much about her as we gathered around old photos, and told stories, I couldn’t help but feel guilty about the circumstances. I should have learned all of this sooner, from her. I think all who loose someone feel that way, but isn’t it strange how we all seem to fall victim to it? We don’t know what we have till it’s gone. It’s a painful gift, but a gift none the less to know what to say when I see her next. I have an amazing Grandmother, and the moment that I get to be with her again, I know all the things I want to tell her. She did amazing things for so many and took every opportunity she could to share love with those that needed it. So for me, I feel more confident in saying this than I have felt about saying anything; Grandma DeeDee is doing just fine now. I have no doubt. She’s probably having Tea with Mother Teresa as we speak.